Bwenge is a local word that means ‘wisdom’ in Kinyarwanda. I would say Bwenge is one of the most popular Gorilla groups in Rwanda basing on the fact that it featured in the movie Gorillas in the mist, a 1988 blockbuster that was directed by Michael Apted starring Sigourney Weaver as naturalist Dian Fossey.
Bwenge Gorilla Family was formed in 2007 by Bwenge. It was named after a silverback who flee his Natel family and joined other families from other groups.
The family apparently has 11 members including 1 silverback, a leader who decides for the family.
Bwenge faced its extreme dark times when it lost about 6 infants. It was a horrible moment for the whole family.
The group now lives in the Karisoke volcanic area which is between Mount Karisimbi and Mount Bisoke.
To meet Bwenge Gorilla Group, you will meet the game rangers and guides for a short briefing at the park headquarters at around 7am for some basics, precautions and rules about gorilla tracking. This is a perfect chance for you to ask any questions you may need to ask.
The hike to this family takes about 2 to 3 hours and is full of adventure. You will trek through the trails and the steep slopes of the Volcanoes.
It’s indeed a thrilling moment standing about 7 meters away from these gentle apes for a full hour. This gracious opportunity also gives the Rwanda Board of Development a strong arm to further conserve and sustain the natural habitats of Bwenge Gorilla Group and other habituated families that reside in the Volcanoes.
The journey to Volcanoes National Park takes about 2 hours by road from Kigali or Gisenyi International Airport.
Volcanoes National Park apparently protects over 10 habituated Mountain Gorilla families and Bwenge is one of those families.